British Columbia

Vancouver files claim against owners of vessel that leaked fuel in 2015

Mayor Gregor Robertson says city still hasn't been paid back for about $550,000 it spent on response efforts.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says city hasn't been paid back for about $550,000 it spent on response efforts

A spill response boat secures a boom around the bulk carrier cargo ship MV Marathassa after a bunker fuel spill on Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, B.C., on April 9, 2015. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says the city has filed a claim in federal court against the owner of a vessel that spilled fuel off the city's coast in 2015.

Robertson says three years after the MV Marathassa spilled 2,700 litres of bunker fuel into English Bay, the city still hasn't been paid back for about $550,000 it spent on response efforts.

The claim, filed last month and announced today, is the latest step in the city's efforts to get compensation for its role in the response.

Robertson says the city has sought repayment through the federal government's Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund, but has only been promised compensation for 27 per cent of its costs.

"It's ridiculous that it has taken over three years fighting for our costs to be covered for an oil spill in our harbour," Robertson said.

He says the city doesn't have faith it will be protected in the case of a more devastating spill from tankers carrying diluted bitumen from Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline.

"With oil spills around the world, these ship owners are very difficult to go after and the costs are never quite covered by taxpayers or government," he said.

The federal claim against the ship owners is for damages, interest and court costs related to the spill.